Whilst Kyle Walker was left out of the England side tonight, Jermain Defoe returned to the starting line-up to partner Wayne Rooney upfront. However the match has been postponed due to bad weather and could be replayed tomorrow. In other International news Hugo Lloris will be involved in the pick of the qualifiers tonight, as France travel to Spain. France suffered a poor 1-0 defeat to Japan in a friendly last week, but the match against Spain is of far more importance, as each side look to assert their dominance in the qualifying group.England's under-21 side have qualified for next year's European Championship, after beating Serbia 1-0, 2-0 on aggregate. The match was marred by ugly scenes at the final whistle with Tottenham's on loan younyoungster Danny Rose sent off for kicking the ball into the crowd, amid accusations he was racially abused. The FA have already complained to UEFA A about the incident.
Harry Redknapp has compared Gareth Bale to Messi and Ronaldo, warning Croatia, ahead of their match with Wales, that the Spurs winger is the full package and likely to improve. The former Spurs boss went on to say "He's almost unplayable when he's on his game. He is a genuine world-class player. There's nobody he couldn't play for. He'd improve any team."
Clint Dempsey has spoken of how has settled in well at Spurs this season. The American is already becoming a key player for Villas-Boas’ side, and wants to add more goals and assists to his performances. The midfielder has also spoken about the weekend’s clash with Chelsea, emphasising the importance of winning home matches when the league table is so close.
Steven Caulker has detailed how desperate he is to play for the England U21 side at Euro 2013. The defender missed out on the tournament in 2011 due to injury, but would be keen to play now Stuart Pearce’s side have qualified. Adam Smith and Danny Rose started the match alongside Caulker in defence. England won the game 1-0, but there was a mass brawl at the end of the match during which Danny Rose was sent off after reacting to racist abuse from the stands.
Daniel Sturridge continues to be linked with a January move to Spurs, as Chelsea are reportedly happy to sell the England striker to help finance a move for other targets like Falcao and Loic Remy. Sturridge was a frequent member of Chelsea’s first team under Villas-Boas last season, and may be keen to reunite with the Portuguese manager, as his playing time under Roberto DI Matteo has been limited.
One player looking less likely to come to North London in January is Patrick Herrmann. The Monchengladbach winger said that the rumours were flattering, but only rumours, and that he was very happy at his current side.
Cristan Ceballos hit a hat trick as Spurs U21 side beat Southampton 4-2 last night. The former Barcelona youth player, once likened to Ronaldinho, has been in impressive form for the youth team, scoring five goals in five games.
image: © Ben Sutherland